10 Things every beginner should know
Photo creditWhen I started out for the first time, it was a very intimidating and overwhelming experience for me. I knew nothing about the gym culture; like what to wear or any of the other basic stuff that you probably should know before entering the gym.
Over the period of time, I learned all the basic things, which I should have known from the beginning. It doesn’t matter if your goal is fat loss or muscle gain. Here are the 10 most important things that I should have known and surely you should too.
Keeping these points in mind, will not only give you a great gym experience but also give you a head start compared to the newbies like me, who knew nothing.
1. Choose a gym that suits you– Location of the gym is very important. It should not be a hassle for you to get to the gym.
Here’s a checklist for finding the right gym for yourself
- Most important is the location. It should be somewhere near your home or office.
- Is there enough space or does it feel too congested?
- Do they have the proper equipment and free weights (dumbbells and barbells)? Some important equipment you should look for-
- Power cage or squat rack
- Seated calf machine
- Leg curl machine
- Olympic bars
- Flat bench
- Are the trainers friendly and motivating?
- Does it suit your time?
- Is it in your budget?
2. Have a training partner– To train with a partner has its pros and cons.If you are a beginner, having a training partner can be comforting. But if your training partner starts getting lazy, chances are, you would also fall off the wagon. When choosing a training partner make sure that he has the same drive and long term goals as you do.
My suggestion: Start with a training partner and get familiarized with the gym environment and make other gym buddies. Don’t depend entirely on your training partner.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others– Initially, it might be very intimidating to see someone lifting heavy ass weights that you might not even think of lifting off the ground or as a guy seeing some of the girls lifting more weights than you are currently lifting.
Always remember, they didn’t just started lifting that kind of weights right from the start. They have years of training and experience under their belt. You are not here to compete with anybody. Focus on yourself and your progress. Remember, Rome was not built in a day.
4. Be patient– Never enter the gym with a mindset that a few sessions will give you any big noticeable difference in your body composition (basically looks). All the celebrities and celebrity trainers will have you believe that a month of some fancy workout routine will give you a six pack abs or a beach body.
Your body doesn’t work that way. You have to give yourself time and don’t focus on instant gratification.
5. Be regular– This point is simple but very important to remember. To see any real progress, you have to be consistent. Skipping a day or two doesn’t look much but over the period of time it all adds up.
Feeling lazy or tired should never be an excuse to miss the gym. Most people start losing their focus once the initial excitement and motivation wears off.
Trust me, if you can push yourself through those movements, you will not only be changing yourself physically but mentally as well.
6. Master the fundamentals– I can’t stress this enough. Don’t be tempted to try some fancy workout routine or trying to lift weights, that are too heavy for you right now.
When you are just starting out, your main focus should be on perfecting your forms and techniques. If you are looking for a long-term goal, your form and technique are going to be your foundation for building a strong and fit body.
To get the maximum benefits from every exercise and to avoid any chances of injuries, your form and technique have to be perfect.
7.Don’t try any fancy diet– As a beginner, your target should be to improve your current eating habits. Again, mastering the fundamentals of nutrition is way better, in the long run, than to follow a crazy diet to see quick results and later go back to your old eating habits to lose all the progress you made.
Start with simply avoiding all the junk food and processed food. Try to eat fresh and home cooked meals. Reduce your portion size and have proper meal timing.
Nothing fancy, I know, but this is what is going to ensure that you follow it consistently and to help sustain all the progress you made.
8. Never skip warm-ups and cool downs– A proper warm up will help you physiologically and psychologically prepare yourself for the exercise.
It increases the temperature of the body, thereby increasing the contraction of the muscles.
It increases the blood circulation, which allows more blood to travel towards the muscles, which in turn makes the muscles less stiff.
It activates the synovial fluid, which are lubricants for the joint.
Cool Down– Cool down is just as important as the warm ups.
It gradually brings down the heart rate to normal.
Removes the waste products such as lactic acid, built up during the workout.
It helps release the muscle tension and reduces the risk of muscle soreness.
9. Consult with a professional– Have a counseling session with a gym adviser. It could be a head trainer, floor manager or a trainer. They will help clear all your doubts and make an exercise program specifically for you, keeping your fitness level in mind.
10. Have proper gym attire– You should be wearing comfortable clothes as you will be moving your body a lot. Simple tracks and t-shirts with good quality shoes that fit you properly will be enough.
Always carry a towel with you, as you will be sweating a lot. Wipe your sweat properly after you have used the equipment. This is basic gym etiquette.
Carry a water bottle with you. Take a sip before and after every exercise as you will be dehydrating.